Chapter 1 : A Bit of Advice
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He screwed up his face in concentration, and soon enough his usually shortish, straight brown hair turned longer, darker, and curly. He analyzed the look for a second, then nodded to himself. According to his best friend, ladies man Gerald Freeman, half of the girls in the castle preferred curly haired boys.
The door to the Prefects’ bathroom opened, and Benjamin Cawler, the tall, blonde-haired Ravenclaw Prefect in the year above him peeked his head in. “Fancy seeing you here, Ted,” he said, grinning.
Teddy felt his face turn red. “Hi, Benjamin,” he said.
“Not playing in the mirror again, are you?”
“No,” Teddy said a little too quickly. Benjamin chuckled.
“Who is it, this time?” He began naming off girls from Hogwarts. “Shayla Rice? Alexandra Quincy?” He gets an evil look in his eyes. “Oooh, what about Kyra Midgeon?”
Teddy shuddered and shoved his hands into his pockets. “No, Ben. I was just having a bit of fun.”
Benjamin didn’t look convinced. “Just tell me, mate. I’m not going to tell anyone, okay?”
Teddy really didn’t want to, but he knew he might as well. When he had first become a Prefect last year, Benjamin had been his kind of mentor, and they had become pretty good friends. He gripped the side of the sink and said, “Oh… alright. It’s- it’s-“ He couldn’t bring himself to say the name.
“Teddy,” Ben said in a warning tone.
Teddy screwed up all of his courage and muttered, “Victoire. Victoire Weasley.”
“Ah.” Benjamin seemed to be trying to picture her. “Tall, blonde girl in fourth year? Yeah, she is something of a looker, isn’t she?”
Teddy blushed again. “Yeah,” he mumbled, scuffing his feet against the bathroom floor.
“Tell you what,” Benjamin said.
“What…” Teddy replied nervously.
“I’ll help you set something up. Meet me down in the Great Hall in five, and you’ll have the best seat you can imagine.”
Several minutes later, Teddy entered the Great Hall and made his way over to the Ravenclaw table. He tried not to look too stupid as he looked around for Benjamin. Eventually, a waving arm caught his eye. His best friend, Gerald, was standing up and waving frantically at him. Across from him sat none other than Victoire Weasley. Teddy felt his insides turn to jelly. He gulped, and tried to walk over to them without tripping. “Hey, guys,” he said, and was horrified when his voice cracked. I’m almost seventeen! He thought furiously. This should not still be happening!”
Victoire turned her head and looked up at him with her big, beautiful blue eyes. “Hello, Teddy,” she said, flashing him a smile.
“Hi,” he croaked.
She patted the place next to her, and Teddy sat down, feeling like an idiot when his robes got caught on the seat. Gerald was lounging in the seat opposite them, grinning annoyingly. “So,” he said, giving Teddy a not-so-subtle wink. “How are you two doing on this fine day?”
“Fine,” Victoire said, smiling at him. Teddy kicked him under the table. Thankfully, at that moment Professor Longbottom appeared behing Gerald and asked for a word about his latest assignment. Gerald left, which relieved Teddy, but also left him feeling more awkward than before now that he was alone with Victoire.
“So, um, nice breakfast, isn’t it?” He asked stupidly, gesturing out towards the table. There was the usual, bacon, sausage, etc, but there was also several pans of pumpkin pie, for Halloween probably.
Victoire tossed her long, blonde hair over her shoulder and frowned. “I don’t like pumpkin pie very much.”
“Oh,” Teddy said. He had half a mind to say that he didn’t either, but he did. Very much. And this pumpkin pie looked absolutely amazing. So he took himself a slice. “So, um, where are your friends?” He asked. It was odd, being alone with her. Usually she was surrounded by at least ten other people, usually boys.
“I asked them to leave me alone this morning,” she said softly, watching Teddy take a bite of his pumpkin pie. Teddy almost choked.
Somebody tapped on his shoulder from behind, and he spun around to see who it was. Unfortunately, in doing this, he smashed his remaining pie slice right into Victoire’s face.
“Merlin’s beard!” Teddy gasped, giving Benjamin, who had tapped on him, the ugliest look he could muster. Benjamin just shrugged, looking like he was trying to hold back laughter, and turned and hurried back in the opposite direction. Teddy looked back at Victoire who was sitting there shocked with her mouth wide open. He could hear other people at the table sniggering.
“I’m so sorry! Let me, uh, here-“ Teddy rambled unhelpfully. He started to make a move toward Victoire, but she held up her hand.
“I’ve got it,” she said. He couldn’t tell whether her voice was mad or not. She pulled her wand out of her pocket and waved it in front of her face. “Scourgify,” She said clearly. Instantly, all of the pie remains were removed from her face.
Teddy was still completely in shock. “I’m so sorry-“ he began.
Victoire shook her head. “No, no, it’s fine…” she stood up and grabbed her bag. “I’d better be going now, I’ve got transfiguration first thing…” she rushed off.
Teddy put his head in his hands and groaned inwardly. Why had he done it? Why did he have to ruin his chances with the prettiest girl at Hogwarts? Now?
He decided, right then and there, that he hated pumpkin pie.
At lunch, he found Benjamin and sat down beside him. “Hey,” he said in a dejected voice. Benjamin turned to him, grinning.
“Hey, mate. Sorry about this morning!”
Teddy shook his head. “Nah. It was all my fault. If I weren’t so stupid…” he banged his head once against the table.
Benjamin gripped his shoulder to prevent him doing it again. “Hey, now. Don’t do that!”
“She’ll never talk to me again… I’m an idiot…”
“Now I won’t deny the second part, but she’ll definitely talk to you again,” he said bracingly. “Listen, now. You’re going to Hogsmeade this evening, right?”
“Right. Now, meet up with her at the Three Broomsticks and offer to buy her a drink. Then apologize and start sweet-talking, and she’ll be putty in your hands.”
Teddy wasn’t entirely sure this would work, but he figured that he didn’t have any better options. “All right, then,” he said, giving a piece of pumpkin pie laying innocently in the middle of the table the evil eye.
At Hogsmeade later that night, Teddy was walking down the paved paths down the busy, bustling streets with Gerald. He had reluctantly told Gerald his plan to meet up with Victoire, and to his horror, he had invited himself along.
“You know what? I could probably get one of her friends to have a drink with me…” Gerald had responded thoughtfully.
Teddy scanned the streets for some sign of her, but he didn’t see anything.
Noticing his friend’s preoccupation, Gerald asked, “Shall we just go into the Three Broomsticks and wait for her? She’s bound to stop by some time.”
Teddy sighed. “Yeah, I reckon so.” They entered the Three Broomsticks and took a seat at a table near the doors.
Soon after, Gerald got bored of just sitting there. “Oi, mate. You see that girl over there?” He pointed across the bar to a short, very pretty girl about their age sitting alone, sipping a butterbeer.”
“Yeah,” Teddy replied, not really interested.
“Well, I’m gonna go keep her company, if you know what I mean.” He winked and strode off towards the girl.
“Yeah, now where’s my company?” Teddy muttered under his breath, tapping his foot against the ground impatiently.
He sat for about five minutes, then he too got bored. He considered going over to where Gerald and his new friend (who seemed to be instantly smitten with him) were, but then he decided against it. If Victoire decided to show up anytime soon, he didn’t want to look like a loser. Instead, he shoved his hands in the pockets of his robes and strolled up to the counter. As he got at the back of the line, he heard the tinkling of bells as the door opened. Instinctively, he turned to see Victoire walking in, looking very excited about something.
“Oh no…” he muttered, ducking his head as she came over. Great, you invite her to Hogsmeade, now you can’t even face her. Coward, he thought.
“Teddy,” she said, breaking into a smile and hurrying over.
He felt himself blush. “Hi,” he muttered, still staring at the ground.
She chuckled. “Still thinking about this morning, eh?”
Teddy screwed up all of his courage, and looked up. “Er, about that, I’m really-“
Victoire waved her hand airily. “It’s fine, Teddy. Trust me; I’ve had worse things happen. Way worse.”
He didn’t know what she meant by this, nor was she sure that he wanted to. But he did know that he needed to do something so that he didn’t continue to look like a love-struck moron. “Wanna have a drink with me?” He asked, focusing on a particularly interesting plank of wood on the floor.
“Yeah,” she agreed, a smile on her face. “I’ll go get a spot.”
Teddy waited another minute in line, then he gave his order to Madam Brown, the bar maid. He noticed, as he did so, the addition of one more item to the menu. Pumpkin pie. Of course. Stupid Halloween.
As he was making his way over to the table Victoire had picked for them, she stood up. At that moment, several things happened at once. A big, fat man in ruby red robes accidentally knocked his plate of pumpkin pie into the aisle. Teddy, watching Victoire intently without a clue what was going on around him, tripped on the plate and fell on top of it, getting pie all over him. And Victoire, who had gotten up to get napkins, didn’t stop in time, tripped over Teddy, and fell on top of him.
“Ooof,” Teddy and Victoire gasped together. The man who’d dropped his pie chuckled. Teddy shot him a glare. Yeah, Teddy definitely hated pumpkin pie.
“Oh my goodness,” Victoire gasped, sounding horrified. She rolled off of Teddy immediately and offered him a hand to get up. While Teddy thought that he should be the one doing this, he took her hand gratefully as he had just been slammed into the floor and been landed on. He was quite short of breath.
“I’m so sorry,” he muttered, stepping back immediately from Victoire as soon as he was up. He could tell that there was pumpkin pie all over the back of his robes, as the people in the table behind him were laughing openly.
“Hey, sonny,” the fat man called. “Be glad your girlfriend doesn’t mind ol’ ‘pumpkin pants’!”
Victoire rolled her eyes. “Come on,” she said, motioning for Teddy to follow her back to their table. “Real mature,” he heard her mutter.
They sat back down at their table, Teddy forgetting that there was pie on the back of his robes. “About that-“ he started, mortified.
She burst out laughing. Teddy was quite unnerved by this. “W-what?”
“You are so cute!”
“Er…” Teddy wasn’t sure if he should be glad or upset that she had said this, but right now it didn’t seem like a very bad thing. “Thanks…?”
Victoire flashed him a grin and tossed her hair over her shoulder. “Looks like today’s not exactly our day for pumpkin pie, now is it?”
Teddy chuckled. “Definitely not.”
Victoire suddenly leaned across the table and gave him a quick peck on the lips then pulled back, her face reddening slightly. Teddy was sure his face was reddening more than slightly. He heard wolf-whistles and cat-calls from the table behind them.
“I’ve been wanting to do that for awhile,” Victoire said quickly, looking at the table and smiling in an embarrassed sort of way.
Teddy grinned back. “Yeah, me too,” he said truthfully.
And right then and there, Teddy Lupin decided that he loved pumpkin pie.